ALBERTA

Sentencing hearing for Calgary man guilty of animal abuse delayed another month

02/26/2015 11:59 EST | Updated 04/28/2015 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - A sentencing hearing for a man who used Kijiji to find pets he methodically abused, starved and killed has been delayed because more time is needed for his psychiatric assessment.

Nicolino Camardi, 19, has been in custody since he was arrested in May on animal cruelty charges. He pleaded guilty in December to wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal.

Justice George Gaschler was asked Thursday to delay sentencing for a month so a forensic psychiatrist can complete his assessment.

The Calgary Humane Society began an investigation on Jan. 9, 2014, when a starved dog was found dead in a back alley with tape around its muzzle. A dead cat was found in the same area a week later with green painter's tape covering most of its face.

An examination at a veterinarian's office determined the dog had suffered chronic malnourishment before its death. The cat had been strangled and had injuries to its head, tail and hind limbs.

Defence lawyer Jack Kelly has been on record opposing the psychiatric assessment on the grounds his client has been behind bars long enough. He said by the time sentencing occurs, Camardi will have served the equivalent of a year in jail, given enhanced credit for time served.

The sentencing hearing has been rescheduled to March 23.

Several animal rights activists were in court Thursday and said they were pleased Camardi will remain behind bars for another month.

"I like that part. We like the fact he is still in jail and I'm very happy," said Heather Anderson from the Daisy Foundation, which fights for stiffer penalties for animal abusers.

"What will probably happen, unfortunately, is it will be time served, so at least right now he is still in jail. I guess that does put a smile on my face."

Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

MORE:Albertacp